Michael K. Williams’ “Lovecraft Country” co-star Jonathan Majors remembered the late actor as “a guardian angel” in a heartfelt tribute published Wednesday.
In an essay for Variety, Majors, 32, detailed how he and Williams met up in New York before filming the HBO sci-fi drama and promised “to be our brother’s keeper.”
“In reflection, it becomes clear to me that such a covenant was not so novel to my big brother, Michael…,” Majors wrote, “He was an angel — a guardian angel — a man who put others ahead of himself at every turn.”
“He was his brother’s keeper to his last day.”
The two first met in 2016 in San Francisco to film the ABC miniseries “When We Rise,” which is when Williams first began looking after his co-star.
“I can recall him picking up the bill, buying me underwear in San Francisco, as I had somehow run out of clean underthings, or teaching me the nuances of cologne and candle shopping,” Majors wrote.
When they were reunited for “Lovecraft Country,” the actors officially pledged “to look after each other, on-screen and off,” knowing the emotional challenges their roles would entail, Majors said.
Both are up for Emmy Awards this year for their performances in the series, Majors for best actor in a drama and Williams for best supporting actor in a drama.
Relatives have said that the 54-year-old Williams, who was found dead in his Brooklyn apartment Monday of a suspected drug overdose, had been excited to land his fifth Emmy nomination for his work as Montrose Freeman in the series.
The beloved actor had spoken publicly about his past grappling with drug addiction, and opened up just a few months ago about how he had sought mental health treatment after filming “Lovecraft Country.”
Remembering Williams as “a Brooklyn boy through and through” known for “his laugh, ferocity, kindness, gentleness and artistry,” Majors wrote that he was heartbroken by the loss of his friend.
“My heart sits in pieces, to have lost this warrior, this ferocious angel, this unique artist, my friend, the protector of the promise and my brother,” he said.
The two last spoke a few days before Williams’ death, saying “I love you, bro,” “I love you, bro, for real,” after an interview, Majors said.
“Words fail, but I feel him near, watching over us all,” the actor continued. “Everyone he touched will understand that he is not far away.”
“Though gone, he’s closer than we think. Resting finally, taking his joy and might to another space and continuing with fervor the pledge ‘I am my brother’s keeper,’ smiling that toothy grin, his eyes shining and his raspy voice whispering, ‘I love you,’ only now sporting his newly minted wings.”